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Cardiac CT FAQs

How is Cardiac CT done?

The patient is put comfortably on a CT scanner table and a baseline calcium score is calculated in a matter of seconds. Following this contrast is injected in one of the peripheral veins with online ECG monitoring. All the images required for a Cardiac CT are obtained in one single breath hold within 5 seconds. Subsequently processed, reformatted, analyzed and evaluated on a workstation. The inferences deduced provide the radiologist an accurate picture of the heart and the coronary vessels that supply it. The arteries are evaluated for narrowing, blockage, presence of different varieties of plaque ( stable/ unstable.. the rupture of which is a common cause of sudden death). Plaque evaluation also helps in deciding various modes of therapy. The status of the various chambers of the heart, cardiac muscle, and the main vessels carrying blood to and from the heart can also be easily seen. It is an excellent investigation to evaluate post operative grafts, stents, and to exclude non cardiac causes of chest pain.

How long will the exam take?

The average length of time is around fifteen minutes. Of course, the test is not initiated until your heart rate is in the acceptable range, usually below 65 beats per minute.

Who should undergo a Cardiac CT?

All patients with high risk factors are potential candidates. Additionally, patients with atypical chest pain abnormal EKG, and an abnormal echocardiogram maybe be evaluated by cardiac CT. Furthermore patients with preoperative cardiac clearance or patients with coronary artery bypass graft surgery may be evaluated by cardiac CT.

What are the risk factors?

Patients having a strong family history of heart disease, diabetics, heavy smokers, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol/ triglycerides, alcoholics, those in high stress and tension jobs, physical inactivity and advanced age.

Are Angiographies or studies of other organs possible on this machine?

Absolutely! A Cardiac CT is technically the most demanding study on a CT scanner. Compared to this all other studies are literally a piece of cake. This machine performs all functions that any other CT scanner does with much more speed and accuracy. All arterial structures and blood vessels can be studied with this technology based on your medical condition and your physician's request.

How do I schedule a Cardiac CT?

Your doctor will decide if a Cardiac CT is needed to help diagnose your symptoms. The doctor’s staff or you can schedule an appointment. We will verify your health insurance coverage and obtain pre-certification with your health insurance carrier if necessary. If you do not have health insurance, payment is expected at the time of service.

How long does it take for my physician to get the results of the examination?

The radiologist will review and interpret your CT examination upon completion. Within 24 hours, your physician will have a written report and copies of the film for visual inspection of the findings. If requested by your physicians, results may be reported sooner by telephone or fax.